Keep America Beautiful aims to end littering, to improve recycling, and to beautify American communities. The organization’s narrow focus on littering and recycling has been criticized as greenwashing in that it diverts responsibility away from corporations and industries.
Keep America Beautiful was founded in December 1953 by a group of American corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and individuals in reaction to the growing problem of highway litter that followed the construction of the Interstate Highway System, and an increasingly mobile and convenience-oriented consumer culture.
The original goal of the organization was to reduce litter through public education, including public service announcement (PSA) campaigns, and engage tri-sector partnerships through the support of industry, government and nonprofits.
In 1976, Keep America Beautiful introduced its “Clean Community System”, which encouraged local communities to prevent litter through education efforts, public service advertising, local research, the mapping of litter “hotspots”, and cleanup activities. During the height of the campaign, it received over 2,000 letters a month from people wanting to join their local programs. The “Clean Community System” evolved into Keep America Beautiful’s current network of roughly 600 state and community-based affiliates nationwide.
In 1999, Keep America Beautiful introduced an annual “Great American Cleanup” campaign. The national spring cleanup focuses on local efforts at beautification. Volunteers organize to remove litter and debris from roadsides, highways, shorelines and waterways; plant trees, flowers and community gardens; clean and restore nature trails, recreation areas and playgrounds; recycle aluminum cans, plastic bottles, electronics, paper products, scrap tires, and clothing; rebuild public spaces in communities struck by natural disasters; and much more.
Today, Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a powerful national network of community-based affiliates, the organization works with millions of volunteers who take action in their communities to transform public spaces into beautiful places. Through the organization’s programs and public-private partnerships, it engages individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment.
According to csrwire.com; en.wikipedia.org. Source of photos: internet